Updated: HOCNA: Clerics call for Deposition of Metropolitan Ephraim Three Weeks Before Synod Meeting – Open Letter

Updated (9/15) The original letter below that was listed on Portal-Credo by Fr Jacob Wojcik is in fact a draft of a clergy protest with the names of three priests and two deacons on it: Protopresbyter Christos Constantinou, Fr. George Liadis, Fr. George Kamberidis, Protodeacon Demetrius Houlares and Deacon Jacob Wojcik. The documents given to NFTU reveal a response to the clergy involved, as well as a formal resignation of Fr Panteleimon from the priesthood.

We note that the actual text of the clergy letter states multiple reasons for retiring Metropolitan Ephraim (p.6) and while we used Portal-Credo’s title on the letter, it is only partially accurate.

(sourceA major disturbance because of the Name-worshipping doctrine… A letter to hierarchs of the Holy Orthodox Church in North America

August 24/ September 6, 2012

Τ St. Kosmas of Aetolia

Most Rev. Ephraim, Metropolitan of Boston; Most Rev. Makarios, Metropolitan of Toronto; Rt. Rev. Demetrius, Bishop of Carlisle; Rt. Rev. Gregory, Bishop of Concord:

Masters: Bless.

You all know our Church, these last ten months (or thereabouts), has been in the throes of a major disturbance because of the Name-worshipping doctrine. Your effort to quell the disturbance with your decision that the issue should not be discussed because it is controversial, obviously, has not been efficacious. In the final analysis, we are not surprised because no compromise or fine-line-walking in doctrinal matters can ever be successful.

In this vein, then, the intimation in last Saturday’s clergy meeting that you may consider issuing a statement supporting St. Tikhon’s Nativity Encyclical as a means to bring peace is nothing other than another “compromise,” a vain attempt to bring together two irreconcilable teachings, Orthodoxy and Name-worshipping, because of the history how that document is understood by the Orthodox and manipulated by the Name-worshipping advocates.

To illustrate this point, it is as if, in the midst of the Arian heresy, the synod of bishops said we fully support and uphold everything that the Holy Gospels and Prophecies say concerning Jesus Christ. That is a perfectly sound Orthodox position, which, nonetheless, the Arians would also accept and put their names to, only to manipulate the Sacred Scriptures to suit their doctrine.

Then, it has been said that the Orthodox are responsible for the current turmoil, not those who introduced Name-worshipping doctrine into our Church in the first place. That is the same pitiful position taken by the Ecumenists who brought the Gregorian calendar into the Church: They who imposed the calendar change are not responsible for the division and upheaval; it is the Orthodox who oppose the innovation who are making “a big deal out of nothing” and who are the cause of all the tumult!

Our holy Fathers have taught us through the ages, and you, yourselves, have impressed on us, that there can be no compromise in matters of Faith. We concur with our whole heart and soul.

Furthermore, we have reached this point of being on the brink of espousing a false teaching as the inevitable spiritual result of Metropolitan Ephraim’s seriously flawed governance of both the Metropolis of Boston and the Holy Synod. Specifically, His Eminence Ephraim has been centrally involved in three major divisions in our Church in the last 6 years: the Seattle upheaval; the departure of clergy and parishes in Portland and Toronto; and the present imposition of the Name-worshipping heresy. More so, he has presided over a scandalous cover up of Fr. Panteleimon that has given rise to serious doubts about the very integrity of both our confession of Faith and our canonicity and the underlying motivation of our separation from the Russian Church Abroad.

Therefore, we, the undersigned clergy, assert that these matters require:

(1) that there be issued an immediate, unequivocal, unconditional, public, dated declaration bearing the actual signature of each Orthodox hierarch (not just his name) on our Holy Synod, which declaration pronounces the following:

Out of love for our Master, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ, and in loving reassurance of His Church, the People of God under our archpastoral care, and to dispel—indeed, utterly banish—any and all concerns, misgivings, misconceptions, and misperceptions, I [or we if more than one sign], the undersigned hierarch[s] of the Holy Synod of The Holy Orthodox Church in North America do declare that I [we] fully and unconditionally and without any reservation accept all the Ecumenical and local Councils and Synods and all their acts and decisions and proclamations accepted by the Orthodox Church Universal, including all the Patriarchal and Synodal decisions and pronouncements regarding the Name-worshipping heresy and its adherents and supporters.

(2) that His Eminence Ephraim be retired as Metropolitan of Boston and President of our Holy Synod and that His Grace, Demetrius, be installed as Metropolitan of Boston and President of our Holy Synod.

These matters are so urgent and of such high importance that they cannot wait until your scheduled Synod meeting some three or so weeks from now. We are awaiting the public distribution and pronouncement of this declaration and these decisions on or before the last day of this present ecclesiastical year one week from today. As of then, the above decisions regarding the Metropolitan of Boston and the President of the Holy Synod having been made, we will commemorate that or those hierarch(s) whose signature(s) appear(s) affixed to this declaration.

In the love of our God and Savior, Christ Jesus,

Fr. Jacob Wojcik